Image courtesy of Icon
On the Icon website you will see the tag line, “The most advanced form of simple.” There is no better phrase for what Jonathan Ward and the Icon team creates in their shop in Los Angeles, California.
Jonathan and his wife started one of the most renowned Toyota Land Cruiser service and repair shops, TLC, in 1996. This part of Jonathan’s business is still alive and kicking and I often dream of sending my FJ60 to him and saying, “Do whatever you think is cool. Spare no expense.” TLC does everything from general repairs and maintenance, to engine conversions, to total restorations, and everything in between. Until Proffitt’s Cruisers closed, TLC and Proffitt’s were my top 2 favorite Cruiser shops. The excellent work of Jonathan and his crew eventually caught the attention of Toyota and they asked him to create some prototypes for what became the 2007 FJ Cruiser. Jonathan was disappointed with the outcome and this led him to start a new project called Icon.
Icon was born out of Jonathan’s desire to recreate the FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser into a modern vehicle that reflected what made the FJ40 great. The team at Icon has created four versions of the classic FJ: the FJ40, FJ43, FJ44, and FJ45. My personal favorite is the FJ44 which is a four-door version of the FJ40.
To say that Icon has developed a modern version of the FJ isn’t doing their work justice. They have created works of industrial art that embody the spirit of the FJ in a way that no modern mass produce car ever could. To go over all the details would be way to much for a single blog post. Let’s just say that no detail goes unnoticed. In the descriptions of their vehicles you will often read words and phrases like, “CNC’d alloy powder coated”, “marine grade german vinyl”, “stainless steel”, and “hand-crafted”. You really just have to go to the Icon website to get a good idea of what these vehicles are all about.
In addition to the FJ series, Icon produces the CJ series, in which they created an “Iconized” version of the classis Jeep CJ3B, and the BR series which is a modern day re-engineering of the classic Ford Bronco. All of these vehicles are profound works of engineering and art.
Of course all this mind-blowing awesomeness comes at a price (you’re looking at around six figures), but somehow the price tag doesn’t seem absurd or insulting. You are not paying for a car that has a ludicrous amount of unnecessary electronic gizmos, and leather and carbon fiber trim that only serves to provide a look and not a function or purpose. Some might say that Icon vehicles are exactly what a modern day SUV should be, no more, no less. They might say that these cars are built the way cars should be built. And I would agree with these people. Yes, it costs a lot of money but I have no doubt that if properly cared for that any Icon could last…well…forever.
Now we just need to start a petition asking for them to make an FJ60 🙂 What do you think? Leave a comment.